Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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The Color Of Joy And Love

Posted by terrepruitt on February 22, 2014

Sometimes I feel as if I am so “behind” on “knowing things”.  Do you ever feel like that?  Sometimes I feel as if I am the last to know.  I feel as if everyone knew it but me.  But then I remember there are a lot of people in the world AND there are a lot of things to know and not everyone knows everything.  So sometimes even though I think “everyone knows” when I post about it I am always happy to receive comments that what I shared is new to at least one person.  But . . . this might be one of those things that everyone knows.  I mean, I would bet that all of you have heard of a race or “run” where people who participate get colored corn starch thrown on them, right?  I mean, even if you haven’t been to one, or seen one, or participated, you have probably seen at least one person in your social media circle post about one.  I am not a runner nor am I a person that just likes to be dirty even if it is with bright and beautiful colors.  So you won’t find me participating in one.  But I see my Facebook feed FULL of stuff related to it.  I thought it was just a way for people promoting running events to get more participants . . . . because a lot of people — unlike me — think it is fun to get colors thrown on them.  I thought it was just something that race producers did to make it fun and different.  I didn’t know that it is an actual religious festival.  I do know that many things start out as religious festivals or customs of races and people, but I would have never thought that a run with colors was more than just something promoters came up with.  There is something called Holi from which these events might have been borrowed.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaSince I have never participated in runs or races it could very well be that the promotional materials talk the Holi Festival.  I don’t know.  But in looking at the Color Run website they do state “event is all about having fun, we also focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle.”  According to Wiki Holi “is a spring festival also known as festival of colors, and sometimes festival of love.”  One website states, “Holi is an ancient festival of India and was originally known as ‘Holika’.”  As with many beliefs there are different stories associated with the festival.

The common thread is that it is a celebration of spring.  As with many celebrations regarding spring there is more to it than just the weather; it is about new, about renewal, about starting over, about forgiveness.  And for some, love.  There is also the element of good triumphing over evil.

Holi is like Easter in that it is not on the same day every year as it is based on the full moon and is either in February or March.  The start of the festival is usually signified with a bonfire.  This is a symbol of the good triumphing over evil as one of the legends has to do with a HUGE bonfire.  The next day is when the colors are poured, thrown, and/or disbursed.  It is a day of fun and celebration.  The colors have to do with one wanting to make his lover’s skin that same as his.

I can see why the race promoters borrowed this tradition.  It stems from joy and love so adding it to a run just adds to the fun of the run.  It sets the tone for an event that is a celebration.  This type of race — or run — is done all over the United States.  Holi Festivals take place all over the world.  I was intrigued to learn the throwing of colors started off as religious event.  I thought I would share because it is cool to learn things and maybe you didn’t know either.

Have you participated in a race/run where they throw colors at you?  Have you heard of an event like this?  Did you know it was (more than likely) borrowed from the Hindu tradition of Holi?  

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